Honorable Few – Capt. J.J. Harris

Marine Corps League Detachment #1302

Congressman accuses Army of political attacks over combat badge

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, on Wednesday, accused Army officials of political attacks against him following questions about his continued wear of a Combat Infantry Badge that was revoked by military leaders last year.

In a letter to Army Human Resources Command, Nehls, an Army veteran, asked for an investigation into the handling of the award, given to infantrymen involved in ground combat operations. The 56-year-old served 21 years in the Army Reserve, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nehls was awarded his CIB while serving as a civil affairs officer with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan in 2008. Last month, CBS News reported the award was revoked in 2023 after an Army review determined he was not eligible for the badge.

According to the CBS News investigation, Nehls’ Combat Infantry Badge was revoked because he was serving as a civil affairs officer and not as an infantryman at the time of his award.

But Nehls has continued to wear a CIB lapel pin while tending to business around Capitol Hill and on campaign stops, prompting scrutiny from a host of media outlets.

In Wednesday’s letter, Nehls accused Army officials of ignoring his previous requests on the issue and insisted that he was eligible for the combat badge.

“I further believe this is a concerted effort to discredit my military service and continued service to the American people as a member of Congress,” he wrote. He also urged officials to “get it right” in regards to revising his military records and reauthorizing the award.

Nehls did not respond to requests for comment on the letter or the badge.

In an interview with NOTUS this week, Nehls said that his service records show a designation as an infantry soldier and suggested that he was being targeted by Army leaders because he is “Mr. MAGA guy.”

Earlier this year, the Office of Congressional Ethics announced it would look into reports that Nehls improperly used campaign funds for personal use, unrelated to the combat badge controversy.

Nehls’ congressional website says he earned two Bronze Star medals during his time in the service, but CBS News also reported that only one of those awards is in his official military record. He retired at the rank of major in 2009.